DC Metro Challenge

There’s a new app called CapitolHop which gives WMATA Metro and bus information for DC, MD and VA. The designers think that the DCMC will be the ultimate test ride of the app before its public launch, so they’re attempting it tomorrow, Monday January 27. Follow their Twitter for updates, and us, of course. Contact us or them for any media and interview requests. They start from Shady Grove at 7:00am.

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I’m pleased to announce that Adham Fisher is going to be taking over DC Metro Challenge! Adham has an established record of excellence in mass transit endurance, and I know he’s eager to see what DC can handle. I’ll still be involved with DC Metro Challenge from a technical and logistical standpoint, but Adham’s going to be driving the train from now on.

Good luck, Adham! I can’t wait to see where you take DCMC.

-Andrew

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Unfortunately, The Lounge Kids (@TheLoungeKids) ran into some trouble yesterday, clocking in at 6 hrs 50 mins. They pledge to give it another go after Rush+ goes into effect, which is sure to yield some interesting new routes.

Today, though, the WMATAdors, Liz and Meggie, will take their shot at besting the Red Line Ramblers’ standing 6 hr, 26 min record. Follow Liz (@ElizabethJ_Bird) and Meggie (@meggiebonner) as they ride the rails and share their knowledge of Metro and bull fighting. Learn more about them in their pre-attempt profile below:

Liz and Meggie of the WMATAdors

Tell us a bit about yourselves.

Liz: Meggie and I met in college and continued our bond as coworkers in DC. When we heard about DC Metro Challenge it sounded like something that would be right up our alley. (For similar and unknown reasons we also recently took a 16 hour train ride to Montreal) You can follow my side of the attempt on twitter (@ElizabethJ_Bird) and on my blog (www.travelingliz.com)
Meggie: We’re just two 20-somethings who think that riding the metro for 6+ hours to break a record is a fun idea.  In addition to the epic Montreal Train Trip, this winter we completed a  nine-hour multi-modal journey from DC to San Francisco using only public transit (plus flight).  It’s as though we’ve been training our whole lives for this event.  I will also be tweeting photos, observations, and fun Metro trivia from @meggiebonner.

When did your interest in Metro start? How does Metro fit into your life now?

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After a brief hiatus, two new duos have come forward to challenge the Red Line Ramblers’ month-old claim to the throne.

Today The Lounge Kids are on deck. Look for more details about their attempt on their Twitter handle, @TheLoungeKids.

Even if The Lounge Kids are successful in taking down the Ramblers, though, they’ll have to defend their title tomorrow when the WMATAdors take to the rails. The WMATAdor profile will be hitting the site later tonight.

Good luck Lounge Kids – you’ve got a tough record to beat!

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Big news last week! Monica Li became the new record holder at 6 hours, 37 minutes – beating John Teneyck’s one-day record of 7 hours, 9 minutes. Look for more detailed coverage of both their attempts soon!

In the meantime, new challengers appear: The Red Line Ramblers. This Washingtonian/Michigander duo have their eyes set on dethroning Monica – and they’ve done their homework. Learn more about the Ramblers, “E” and “P” in their profile below, and be sure to follow them on Twitter (@redlineramblers) for the latest updates during their attempt today!

Tell us a bit about yourselves.

We’re in our 20s (because who else would want to do the DC Metro Challenge?!). One of us is a native Washingtonian, the other is a Michigander. I’m interested in politics, he’s interested in architecture, urban planning, and sustainable design. Come to think of it, “Washington DC public transit” is the perfect meld of these two interests.

When did your interest in Metro start? How does Metro fit into your life now?

I’ve been riding metro probably as long as I can remember. I love it. I think it far and away beats the other subways systems I’ve used regularly (notably Chicago’s and New York’s). It’s cleaner, it’s quieter, it’s more comfortable. I don’t take Metrorail to work anymore since a bus route is better for me, but I have commuted by metro for other jobs. I think public transit is great for cities and I wish even more people rode the Metro so it could be even more reliable and maybe add some new lines or stations.

What route do you plan to use in your attempt?

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It’s a busy week for DC Metro Challenge! John Teneyck was the first challenger yesterday and broke the record in a yet to be confirmed 7 hours and 9 minutes. Official confirmation from WMATA and more details on that attempt will come soon.

Today, however, another challenger steps up to the plate! Monica Li is a 22 year old U.Va. Chemistry student from Centreville, VA. She will start her attempt at noon today, using a route identified on reddit last week. The route’s projected to come in around 6 hours, which would beat the official record and John’s from yesterday if she’s successful. She’ll be live-tweeting her progress all day long on her handle: @1337_chemist, and the DC Metro Challenge account will also cover her progress. Learn more about Monica below:

Monica Li

Monica Li

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Monica, and I am a 22-year-old college student from Centreville, VA. I’m just a month away from graduating from UVA with a degree in Chemistry. I’ll be headed off to pharmacy school in the fall, but my dream is to become an air traffic controller at one of the area’s three airports. To that end, I will also be completing a program that will make me eligible to apply to the FAA.

When did your interest in Metro start? How does Metro fit into your life now?

I fell in love with Metro during the summer of 2007, when I rode it daily from Vienna to White Flint for an internship. Instead of dulling the experience, riding the Metro every day veritably enriched it. I never brought along anything to do during the ride, so I became finely attuned to the intonations of the announcers, the behavior of commuters, the art of timing naps to terminate at Metro Center, and that floating feeling of soaring over eight lanes of traffic on a bridge where the railing is too low to be seen. Since then, I’ve ridden the Metro on a daily basis for two more summers, and in 2008, a friend and I made a successful, untimed exploit to visit all the stations in one day.

Metrorail, and communal transportation in general, intrigues me because everyone in the system has an individual path and is and distinctly anonymous, yet we are brought together for a few minutes or hours because of a common purpose and a fact of life: we need to get somewhere. This fundamental interest in transportation is one of the reasons why I want to pursue a career in aviation.

Sadly, as I’ve been away from the DC area for the past few years, my recent involvement with Metro has been minimal. I’ve been following the progress on the Silver Line construction, and I especially hope it will be finished if and when I end up as a controller at Dulles – the prospect of driving to Dulles every day sounds awful!

What route do you plan to use in your attempt?

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Just two days old and DC Metro Challenge has already attracted a growing pack of challengers!

(New to DCMC? Here’s the blog post that started it all)

In additional to Daniel yesterday, Christopher, Monica, Meggie, Liz, and (another) Daniel have come forward and think they have what it takes to beat my record. Once they each set a date for their attempt, you’ll find pre/during/post coverage here at DCMetroChallenge.com. Secretly, I hope some of them team up Amazing Race-style.

A vision for what the cast of a DC Metro Challenge reality series could look like

In other news, DC Metro Challenge was featured on the BUZZ blog at The Washington Post. DCMC also got a shout out on Greater Greater Washington this morning, and someone in a post on reddit came up with a better route than the one I used in my attempt.

A new way to get involved with DC Metro Challenge is coming this weekend (and it doesn’t involve sitting on trains for seven hours). Stay tuned on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates!

-Andrew

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What an amazing first day! DC Metro Challenge’s launch surpassed my expectations – thank you all for your interest!

The highlight of the day was confirming my first challenger: Daniel will take the DC Metro Challenge this fall before he starts law school. I also connected with some great people on Twitter and Facebook. And one of them found the words to sum up DC Metro Challenge that I’ve been searching for:

Another highlight today was the discovery of a previous attempt, documented in a Dr. Gridlock column from 2001. The exact route he took is unclear, but it looks like he clocked in at 7 hours, 48 minutes – so my record stands another day.

Such a great response on this first day has me thinking about even better ways I can grow DC Metro Challenge. This is just the beginning!

-Andrew

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Welcome to DC Metro Challenge! After months of research and development, DCMC is launching today.

A few months ago I rode to every station in the Metrorail system continuously, and set a new record at 7:27:49. Read all about my attempt in my main blog post.

After finding no official record keeping authority for my attempt, I decided to create DC Metro Challenge. This site chronicles my attempt and will cover future challengers as they seek to dethrone me. I hope they get more out of the experience than their name on a digital plaque, though. Check out the about page to learn why I created DC Metro Challenge and how I want it to grow.

And don’t forget to connect with DCMC on Facebook and Twitter – I’ll be active on both all day today.

-Andrew

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The uncomfortable smile of a man balancing his camera on a Metro seat.

Seven hours, 27 minutes, and 49 seconds – that’s how long it took me to ride to all 86 stations in the Washington Metrorail system. Starting in Shady Grove and winding across the metropolitan area to finish at Largo Town Center, I spent nearly a full work day entering DC mass transit history. Not to mention setting a new personal record for bladder capacity.

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